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  • 2001.10.31
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(Taik-young Hamm: Professor, Political Science, Kyungnam University)

*This article is reproduced with author's permission. Originally published in Asian Perspective, Vol.25, No.2 (2001), pp.123-51. by Institute for Far Eastern Studies, Kyungnam University.

The inter-Korean summit talks laid historic ground work for a new era of peace on the Korean peninsula. But a more challenging task to institutionalize the peace process lies ahead. It includes a peace treaty, cross-recognition of the two Koreas by the four major powers, regional cooperation, and arms control and disarmament. The security policy of the two Koreas should be oriented toward arms control and disarmament, since an arms race beyond "reasonable sufficiency" is not desirable. Due to the asymmetric balance between ROK( -U.S.) superiority in war-fighting capabilities and the DPRK's deterrents, an arms buildup by South Korea will be matched by an asymmetric buildup by North Korea.


The North-South summit meeting in June 2000 was an historic event. Overcoming all odds, the summit took place for the first time since the division of Korea. President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) visited Pyongyang and held "a historic meeting and summit talks" with National Defense Commission (NDC) Chairman Kim Jong Il of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea). The two leaders produced the five point North-South Joint Declaration on June 15, 2000

The epoch-making summit talks and the Joint Declaration laid a historic groundwork for a new era of peace on the Korean peninsula. Exactly a year earlier, the two Koreas exchanged fire in a naval clash near the Yonpyong Islands in the Yellow Sea. No one can deny that the fact that a summit meeting was held is in itself a great leap forward in the direction of fostering inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation. Due to the sudden death of President Kim Il Sung, President Kim Young Sam's visit and summit talk with the "great leader" in 1994 did not materialize. Unlike the previous agreements between Seoul and Pyongyang, the Joint Declaration was the product of direct negotiation between the top leaders of the two Koreas. They signed the document in full view of the global public, making a de facto commitment to the whole world. Neither the July 4 Joint Declaration in 1972 nor the Basic Agreement in 1991-1992 was signed by the top leaders of the two divided states. Furthermore, across-the-board follow-up measures have already begun, including reunion of separated families and related Red Cross Talks, ministerial- level talks, defense ministers talks, and joint efforts to reconnect the Seoul-Shinuiju Railway.

At the time of this writing, however, whether the North-South summit will dismantle the cold-war structure on the peninsula, replacing an era of age-old confrontation and hostility, remains to be seen. The purpose of this article is to analyze security on the Korean peninsula after the summit. What contributions has the inter-Korean reconciliation made to the security of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia? Is South Korea or, for that matter, North Korea more secure than it was before the summit? Has North-South reconciliation led to any positive change in the North Korean regime or its policy toward South Korea and/or the United States? What are the major problems to be solved?

To answer these questions, the article examines subjective as well as objective aspects of national security. In this paper, national security, or "security of the state," is defined in the conventional, narrow sense of the term. An expanded concept of security that may include issues concerning environment, resources, national competitiveness, and organized crime, for instance, is unnecessary or even politically dangerous.1 This paper attempts to provide a detached review of the Korean arms race and military balance. However, the perception of internal threat is no less important than the institutional characteristics of the Korean armistice, arms race, and military balance, since external security is inseparably related to the internal security of the two divided states. Internal security is an inverse function of the weakness or strength of the state, i.e., the degree of regime cohesion.2 Regime cohesion, or the capacity of the state, is especially important for an understanding of North Korea's militant foreign policy, demonstrated by its declaration of becoming a "strong and prosperous power" and its "military first policy."

The Summit and Inter-Korean Reconciliation

The spectacular success of the summit talks was a vindication of the positive engagement or so-called "Sunshine policy" of the Kim Dae Jung government. The policy generated results that exceeded all expectations. President Kim solemnly declared that the summit forged a framework for averting the danger of war on the Korean peninsula. The summit also blunted domestic criticism. Up to that point, the Sunshine policy had seemed to receive more support abroad than at home, since not until April 2001, when the government made the stunning announcement of an agreement on the summit, had the Sunshine policy demonstrated any tangible outcome.

In the months since the summit, however, expressions of disappointment or skepticism have been heard often in Seoul and Washington. Critics argue that: South Korea agreed to the North Korean formula of unification through (con)federation without realizing that it is a disguised formula of "unification under communism" the inter-Korean cooperation is a one-sided process, with the Kim Dae Jung government giving away the store and getting nothing in return from Pyongyang; the reconciliation is moving too fast, causing ideological confusion; the government exploits the inter-Korean dialogue for domestic political purposes; as North Korean gestures of reconciliation are a "change in the tactics"3 the trend of reconciliation and cooperation is not irreversible; and the return visit to South Korea of Chairman Kim Jong Il is uncertain-a self-fulfilling prophecy for some conservatives who are against the visit.

Critics also point out that the important issue of security and peace was not seriously dealt with in the summit and no agreement on military confidence-building measures (CBMs) and arms control was included in the Joint Declaration. They note that the conventional and non-conventional war threats from Pyongyang have not diminished. The force level, training, and forward deployment of the Korean People's Army (KPA) have not changed; and despite North Korean talks with the Clinton administration, the threat from DPRK weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and medium- and long-range ballistic missiles has remained the same. In a nutshell, skeptics argue that the summit has not brought about any major change in North Korea or improved the security of the ROK. In spite of some inside debates after the summit, the ROK government, or at least the Ministry of National Defense, continues to designate the North as the "main enemy" or "principal adversary."4 Like-wise, the U.S. government, identifying North Korea as "the country most likely to involve the United States in a large-scale war," acknowledges no tangible evidence of change in North Korea after the summit."while the historic summit between the North and South leaders holds the promise of reconciliation and change," the Pentagon has said, "no evidence exists of the fundamental precursors for change. There is little or no evidence of economic reform or reform-minded leaders, reduction in military forces, or a lessening of a anti-U.S. rhetoric."5

It is true that military or security issues were omitted in the Joint Declaration. Symbolically, however, the military was quite visible during the summit. To demonstrate its implicit recognition of the regime in the South, Pyongyang prepared a joint inspection of the KPA honor guards during the reception of President Kim by Chairman Kim at Sunan airport on June 13. Two days later, top leaders of the KPA attended a banquet hosted by Kim Jong Il. During the occasion Vice Marshal Jo Myong-Rok, Director of the KPA General Political Bureau and First Vice Chairman of the NDC, read a speech on behalf of the KPA Supreme Commander and Chairman of the NDC.

Vice Marshal Jo, who had accompanied Kim Jong Il during his visit to China in May, also visited Washington in October. He paid a call on President Clinton in full military regalia and handed him a letter from Kim Jong Il inviting the President to Pyongyang

In a joint communique the United States and the DPRK agreed that the resolution of the missile issue would make an essential contribution to "a fundamentally improved relationship," i.e., full diplomatic relations. Both parties agreed to replace the Armistice Agreement with permanent peace arrangements through various means including the Four-Party Talks, which involve the two Koreas, the United States, and China. North Korea also hinted at its willingness to conduct negotiations on conventional forces. In late October Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Pyongyang and had talks with Jo and Kim Jong Il. Further talks on the missile deal and a possible visit by Clinton to Pyongyang followed. The uncertainty of the Florida voting outcome, however, left a Clinton visit in limbo. Finally, in late December, it was announced that he would not go to Pyongyang.

With the advent of the Bush administration, it is quite likely that the liberal, engagement approach in U.S. policy toward North Korea, or more specifically the "Perry process," will be replaced by a more or less conservative, realist one. For one thing, the newly elected President Bush and his foreign policy advisers are skeptical not only about a missile deal with Pyongyang but also about the regime itself. Furthermore, some right-wing Republicans are likely to prefer "no deal," not "new deal," with Pyongyang. They want to use North Korea as the so-called "rogue state" in the national missile defense (NMD) campaign.

What the U.S.-DPRK missile talks seem to show is that North Korea has adopted a dual-track approach, probably with the tacit consent of Kim Dae Jung. Pyongyang conducts military and security talks mainly with Washington (and in the Four Party Talks), while it deals with reconciliation, cooperation, and exchanges with the South. Military and security issues are at best only indirectly approached in the inter-Korean talks, where the two leaders informally forswore the use of arms. The two parties agreed in the Joint Declaration "to consolidate mutual trust by promoting balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation and by stimulating cooperation and exchanges." 6 In addition, Kim Jong Il told Kim Dae Jung that the North is not against a U.S. troop presence in the South, once U.S. troops are no longer a threat to the republic.

This indirect or neo-functional approach was further con-firmed by the defense ministers' talks. The two ministers agreed "to work together to reduce military tension on the Korean peninsula and remove the threat of war by establishing a durable and stable peace." At the following working level military talks, it was agreed that the Seoul-Shinuiju railway across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) should be reconnected through joint military efforts. Symbolically, the agreement itself and the efforts of the two opposing armies on the project represent a major breakthrough in tension reduction and confidence building between the two Koreas.

In addition to the reconciliation and cooperation with the South, "there have been staggering changes in DPRK behavior over the past 1-2 years. . . [O]ver roughly the past two years the 'hermit kingdom' has become the 'hyperactive kingdom.'"7 After the launch of the Daepodong missile or the Kwangmyong-song "artificial satellite" on August, 1998 that brought the Unit-ed States back to the conference table, North Korea has behaved much better in its talks with the United States. After a series of negotiations Pyongyang agreed to allow U.S. inspection of the suspected Kumchang-ri nuclear-weapon research site. The missile moratorium has been extended without frequent threats to rescind it. During the Kumchang-ri and missile talks North Korea showed tit-for-tat responses to U.S. moves rather than brinkmanship. With the progress in its relations with Washing-ton, North Korea moved from isolation to an assertive diploma-cy, normalizing diplomatic relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European countries. Finally, in the midst of the "new thinking" campaign by North Korean media,8 Kim Jong Il visited Shanghai, the symbol of reform and opening in China, in January 2001. Although the "new thinking" campaign falls short of economic reform, the emphasis on "innovation" and "information technology" implies increased outside contacts and prospects for a gradual process of opening, at least in certain strategically selected sectors

It is apparent that North Korea today is much more interested in external contact than the North Korea of the 1990s.

Security on the Korean Peninsula

The ROK-U.S. engagement policies and the summit contributed to the goal of dismantling the cold-war structure in Korea by setting in motion a process of change in inter-Korean relations that can facilitate further progress on security matters

Especially important is "the trust and rapport forged between President Kim Dae Jung and Chairman Kim Jong Il during the summit . . . that they can do business with each other." The genuine reconciliation, cooperation, and trust-building between the two Koreas are no minor achievement. In spite of the fragile nature of the Armistice, the stubbornness of the socialist regime in the North, and the conventional and non-conventional threats of the KPA, the government and people in the ROK believe that the threat of war has been considerably diminished. An opinion poll in the South conducted in February 2001 showed that 70 percent of respondents still agreed that the policy of reconciliation and cooperation of the Kim Dae Jung government had reduced the threat of war on the peninsula.10 The results imply that subjective factors-i.e., the political/psychological dimension of national security-are no less important than the objective ones, i.e., the structural-institutional dimension.

Next Steps

However, inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation thus far are just a first step in a long journey toward peace and unification. More challenging items can be expected on the agenda. Progress in the informal, psychological dimension should be followed by institutionalized arrangements for a lasting peace structure. The low level of tension reduction and military CBMs for transparency and predictability between the two opposing regimes achieved at the summit have yet to be institutionalized. The institutionalization of the Korean peace process includes a peace treaty, cross-recognition of the two Koreas by the four major powers within a framework of regional cooperation, and arms control and disarmament. In addition, the institutional superstructure would be meaningless unless supported by economic cooperation and social-cultural exchanges.

First, the unstable 1953 Armistice Agreement has not been replaced by a peace treaty. In a technical sense the Korean War is not over. The North has insisted that the ROK is not the signatory party to the Armistice Agreement and, therefore, a U.S.-DPRK peace treaty should be concluded, with the South being excluded. (China's role in the peace treaty, another signatory party to the agreement, is uncertain). The problem is further complicated by a series of events that took place in the 1990s. The United States in 1991 transferred its authority to represent the United Nations within the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) to the ROK by appointing an ROK major general as the chief representative to the MAC. In the following year, the DPRK and China withdrew their representatives from the MAC in protest. The DPRK set up a KPA liaison mission in Panmunjom in 1994, ousting the Czech and Polish representatives from the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. Pyongyang may have sought a settlement through direct talks with the United States, but the institutional mechanism for maintaining stability and security has been damaged.

Neither U.S.-DPRK talks nor inter-Korean talks alone can effectively deal with the institutional and legal challenges to the peace treaty settlement. However complicated it may be, a two-plus- two formula within the Four Party Talks, i.e., an inter-Korean peace treaty guaranteed by the United States and China, would be more desirable and in fact more feasible.11 It should be noted that the Commander-in-Chief of the UN Command, not the United States per se, signed the armistice. The ROK is no less entitled than the United States to succeed the United Nations in a future peace treaty.

Second, the recognition of the ROK by the DPRK as the legitimate party to the peace treaty, i.e., the unambiguous recognition of the South as a normal state, should be accompanied by diplomatic recognition of the North by the United States and Japan

Partly owing to its energetic Nordpolitik, the South normalized diplomatic relations with the two allies of the North, the Soviet Union/Russia in 1990 and China in 1992. Although Seoul pro-posed the mutual recognition of the two Koreas by the four major powers in Northeast Asia, the implied principle of reciprocity was not well observed in the legitimacy competition with Pyongyang. In retrospect, the Nordpolitik was not an engagement policy but an "encirclement policy." The perception of being isolated was a severe blow to North Korea in an age that witnessed the collapse of state socialism in Russia and Eastern Europe. Of course there were some positive effects of the breakdown of the socialist bloc. The normalization of diplomatic relations between Seoul and Moscow led to a noticeable change in North Korean policy toward the South. It allowed for the simultaneous participation of both Koreas in the United Nations and for a series of High-Level Talks with the South, out of which came the Basic Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-aggression, Exchanges and Cooperation in 1991.

However, the diplomatic shocks of the Soviet collapse also spurred North Korea's nuclear weapons program and a nuclear crisis with the United States and South Korea in 1993-1994. To add insult to injury, China established diplomatic relations with the South in 1992. That move "undermined China's reputation as a true friend in North Korean perspective" and created suspicion in North Korea over China's political direction and foreign policy. China's firm stance on having a denuclearized Korean peninsula" made the country's relationship drift apart for some time in the 1990s."12 Yet China has provided considerable economic aid to the North; and (especially during the nuclear crisis) its diplomatic assistance helped North Korean leaders gain confidence in coming to terms with Seoul.

Prospects for Arms Control

Third, arms control and disarmament are no less a complicated and daunting challenge. The two Koreas have been engaged in a prolonged, bitter arms race. No serious CBMs or other measures of arms control have been achieved since the unilateral withdrawal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from the South in 1991 and the "nuclear freeze" of North Korea's energy and weapons research under the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework of 1994. North Korea could not settle the missile issue with the Clinton administration-and it is likely to undergo thorough review and scrutiny under the new administration. The Korean peninsula remains one of the most highly militarized and tension- ridden regions in the post-cold war world. Official sources show that in the year 2000 there were more than 1.8 million Korean soldiers on active duty, and several million reserves, plus 37,000 American GIs. The DPRK is one of the most highly militarized nations in the world. In order to maintain the 1.1 million strong KPA, the fourth-largest army in the world, its estimated force ratio (military manpower over total population) reaches as high as 5 percent. Furthermore, about 70 percent of the KPA ground forces is forward deployed, while four corps are positioned at the front. Likewise, probably the entire twenty-two active ROK divisions plus the U.S. 2nd Division are forward deployed, with twelve divisions at the front.13

Under these circumstances, an armed conflict would quickly escalate into a brutal, large-scale war. Arms control, including military CBMs and disarmament, is a prerequisite to building a peace regime on the Korean peninsula.

The United States has been particularly concerned about North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles.

For South Korea, military CBMs, arms control, and reductions of conventional weapons are no less important. The ROK is especially concerned about the KPA's conventional war-fighting capabilities and non-nuclear deterrents, namely, the long-range artillery, tactical missiles (FROGs and SCUDs), and chemical war-fare capabilities. The North is alleged to have produced and stock-piled several thousand tons of chemical agents, including nerve, choking, blister, and blood gas.14 South Korea's defense ministry organized an Anti-CBW Command in 1999, taking the chemical and biological warfare threat seriously. As for the threat of North Korean nuclear capabilities, it is less likely that Pyongyang would be able to use the nuclear card again as a bargaining chip, even though provisions for verification of nuclear freeze and future de-nuclearization in the 1994 Agreed Framework have left much to be desired.

None of the above arms control/arms reduction measures is easy to implement. The North has tried to avoid arms control and disarmament talks with the South, preferring direct talks with Washington. However, active South Korea participation is essential to arms control and disarmament on the Korean peninsula

The two Koreas also disagree on the approaches to arms control

The North argues that both CBMs and arms reduction should be simultaneously implemented, while the South prefers a CBMs-first approach. Yet arms control beyond the modest level of CBMs, such as military hot lines or exchanges of observers of each other's military exercises, would be a major challenge. The redeployment of the ground forces of the two sides to the rear areas, for instance, would be more challenging than it appears. If the forward deployment of about 70 percent of the KPA ground forces to within 100 miles of the front is evidence of its aggressive posture, how do we interpret the fact that all twenty-two active divisions of the ROK army are forward deployed?15 As its ground troops are forward deployed to stop the infiltration of KPA agents/special forces and defend the all-important Seoul metropolitan area located only twenty-five miles south of the DMZ, the ROK army would strongly oppose any redeployment. In the long run, serious arms reduction negotiations would undermine vest-ed interests of the military of the two Koreas and segments of the American military-industrial complex.

Inter-Korean arms control and disarmament is closely related to the peace treaty. Even though Kim Jong Il informally recognizes the U.S. troop presence in the South, the peace treaty and arms control negotiations would inevitably affect the status of the U.S. troops in Korea. Issues of arms control and disarmament are also closely related with the process of normalization of relations between North Korea and the United States and Japan. The problem is that long-range missiles remain the only effective leverage for the DPRK in its negotiations with the United States and Japan for economic aid and the establishment of diplomatic relations. From a realist perspective, neither the United States nor Japan cares about the poor "hermit kingdom" unless it poses a security threat to them. Against this backdrop, it is important to tackle the long-term Korean peace process in an international and regional context, encouraging the hermit kingdom to participate in Northeast Asian regional cooperation.

In the short run, however, inter-Korean arms control talks between the two Koreas themselves would be more viable and desirable, while the new administration in Washington is currently reluctant to have serious talks with North Korea on the latter's WMD and missiles. The inter-Korean defense ministers' talks and working level military talks can make an important contribution to CBMs by improving transparency and predictability. However, as Kim Dae Jung has repeatedly emphasized, his Sunshine policy is firmly rooted in "strong security preparedness," and it should be noted that the deterrence and defense capabilities of the two sides have been crucial in deterring the breakout of armed conflict. For a more realistic approach to stability and security on the Korean peninsula, we need a better understanding of the vicious cycle of the arms race, the consequent military balance, and the perception or misperception of threat that lies behind the arms race.

Assessing the Arms Race and Military Balance

Most analyses of security on the Korean peninsula have mainly focused on the military balance. In particular, they have pointed out North Korean aggressiveness and military superiority, capabilities required for deterrence and defense of South Korea, and the role of the United States. The official ROK position can be summarized as follows.16 First, the DPRK has maintained military superiority in spite of the ROK's efforts to catch up, owing to its earlier defense industrialization and much heavier defense burden. Second, the ROK's weapons programs have been an effort to catch up with the DPRK-an arms race explanation. Third, however, the DPRK arms buildups have been caused by internal factors such as the aggressive nature of the regime. It is the North that committed the original sin in the inter-Korean arms race.

In short, North Korean aggressiveness is not a variable but a constant. The "myth" of the North Korean threat continues even though the regime is on the verge of collapse. Although a North Korean attack would most likely fail, Pyongyang "could become so desperate" that it would not be deterred by the U.S.-ROK combined forces.17 On the other hand, North Korea has maintained that the ROK-U.S. side is superior and aggressive, charging that the ROK-U.S. "Team Spirit" exercises and the counter-offensive Operational Plan 5027 (OPLAN 5027) are preparations for an invasion of the North.

Assessing the Korean military balance for deterrence and defense is a critical task. However, the military balance has been the subject of a "propaganda debate, conducted mainly in the media" rather than "real debate among serious analysts, con-ducted largely in scholarly publications."18 In a real debate, first of all, the so-called "bean counts" and "firepower scores" are rejected and military spending is identified as the best measure of military capabilities as it can represent human, material and organizational factors. Second, the ROK-DPRK military capabilities are evaluated in terms of the military capital stock, derived from alternative time-series data. Third, findings demonstrate that the South has become superior to the North in war-fighting capabilities measured in military capital stock.

A typical mistake of the propaganda debate is to focus on the current force level rather than the "war potential."19 Another mistake is the bean counts-simple counting up of manpower, divisions, tanks, artillery tubes, ships, aircraft, missiles, and so forth. The firepower scores, including the Armored Division Equivalent (ADE), or the Division Equivalent Firepower (DEF) and the "combat capability coefficient"(CCC) that followed the ADE, are not much better indicators. The ADE methodology is based on the Weapons Effectiveness Index and the Weighted Unit Value (WEI/WUV) methodology.20 According to the annual South Korea Defense White Paper, the CCC of the South was 65 percent of that of the North in 1988 (or 70 percent if we add the U.S. Forces in Korea), 71 percent in 1992, and 75 percent in 1997.

Bean counts or firepower scores provide a distorted picture of military capabilities. First, these methods do not include the qualitative dimension. The "performance" inferiority of weapons is not the only problem that plagued the Soviet-type armed forces. The "quality" or "reliability" of Soviet high-tech weapons was lower than expected. Second, these numbers leave other important numbers untapped. For instance, the KPA, like the Soviet military, "seldom retire old models of weapons and tend to maintain a large number of equipment stock."21 In the naval balance, the one-sided numerical superiority of the North is almost meaningless, since most of its surface combatants are small patrol crafts/boats under 100 tons.22 Third, they are not "dynamic" but "static" approaches. They do not include the time dimension, i.e., the duration of firepower. It is not the number of artillery tubes, ships, or aircraft but the amount of shells delivered, ship-days, or aircraft sorties that count. Furthermore, they omit organizational capacity that is more important than sheer numbers of troops and equipment.23 Factors such as discipline, morale, and leadership, or "unit cohesion," are the product of education and training. The level of training and combat readiness of the KPA, as measured (for instance) by field exercises and daily aircraft sorties, has been very low.

Dynamic analyses put firepower scores, force multipliers, and other "operational" and "environmental" factors, quantified into parameters, in a certain conceptual model to generate com-bat outcomes. Usually the defender receives some premium or a force multiplier. Surprise gets a considerable force multiplier as well. Most analyses of the Korean military balance put heavy emphasis on the KPA's capacity for surprise attack. However, the success of a KPA surprise attack is simply the worst-case scenario, considering the readiness of the ROK-U.S. forces and early warning capabilities. The terrain definitely favors the area defense oriented around key positions. The decisive military arm is most likely to be the infantry backed by the artillery.24 Even if the KPA could make a breakthrough, it would be unable to commit a sizable operational maneuver group (OMG) to the exploitation phase, due to its lack of mobile air defense and logistic support.

Unlike the dynamic analysis that depends too much on artificially generated parameters, defense spending, measured in stock and not in flow, is more straightforward. It is the "sum total of inputs" of human, material, and organizational components. The MND compares "cumulative spending on investment" or military capital stock of the two Koreas. TABLE 1 Table 1 shows military capital stock comparisons by a RAND Corporation team and Professor Sang-Woo Rhee as well as the MND. The MND assessment of the CCC of the South against the North is 65 percent at the end of 1988, while military capital stock (by the MND) of the South is 67.2 percent of that of the North. However, the ROK stock in the 1970s was unreasonably low, nearly zero. There is something wrong in columns I-III in the table. 25 First, the MND and Rhee use "gross investment," that is, military capital stock without depreciation. Second, the MND tends to overestimate DPRK defense spending by exaggerating its "hidden" spending. Third, and most important, the MND, RAND, and Rhee omit U.S. military aid to Seoul, which was almost entirely responsible for the ROK stock until the early 1970s. Likewise, the capability assessment of the USFK, 5 percent of the KPA or only one-thirteenth of the ROK, is also problematic. In fact, the MND assessed the USFK stock in the early 1990s as worth $15.9 billion (including $3.5 billion of early warning systems), or roughly 60 percent of the ROK stock in 1988. 26 The sophisticated command, control, communication, computer, and intelligence (C 4 I) capabilities and early-warning systems of the USFK are not included in the sheer firepower score comparison.

For a more accurate and balanced assessment of the North-South military capital stock, first of all, we have to include military aid. Data on military aid to the South and annual arms imports of the North can be obtained from the (U.S.) DSAA and ACDA reports respectively.27 Second, the "hidden spending" of the North should be more carefully estimated. The ROK has estimated that 뱑eal?DPRK military spending is at least 30.9 percent of the budget, since the DPRK budget (except for 1967- 1971) is suspected of excluding hidden spending. The defense budget dropped from 30.9 percent in 1967-1971, a period of heavy arms buildups and provocations, to 17.0 percent in 1972. Pyongyang may have begun to conceal some of its military spending in other budget items to demonstrate its advocacy of peace during the North-South Korean talks in 1972-1973. However, the fact that industrial growth was much higher in the Six Year Plan period (1971-1977) than in the 1960s implies a reduced defense burden in the 1970s. Furthermore, the KPA has implemented labor-intensive and/or asymmetric arms buildups in the 1980s and 1990s. North Korea cannot have doubled its manpower and at the same time continuously spent 48 percent of its defense budget on investment. The ROK spent only 33 percent of its defense spending on investment with a more or less constant level of manpower, even though the growth rate of its spending (8.7 percent per annum) was much higher than that of the North (3.5 percent).28

In this article, the estimated range of DPRK defense expenditures since 1972 is derived from the following methods: adding military aid (arms imports) to the official budget; and/or multi-plying the official national defense budget by a factor of 1.5. The parameter of 1.5 is derived from a reasonable assumption that the real defense/total budget ratio in 1972 was roughly identical to the 1961-1970 average (25.4 percent), or 1.5 times the official budget (17 percent). For the 1990s, however, the estimate is based on extrapolation in order to compensate for the shrinking GNP or budget. In order to cover the "more-bang-for-the-buck" factor in the Korean balance analysis-e.g., the KPA's lower operations and maintenance (O&M) and procurement costs-the purchasing power parity (PPP) of the DPRK won is derived from differential rates of inflation of the won and the U.S. dollar.29 For the revised North-South military capital stock comparison (columns IV-VI in Table 1), alternative estimates of "cumulative defense spending" and "cumulative investment and O&M," with 8-10 percent/year depreciation, are used. Investment usually covers the material component of military capabilities, but investment in "organizational capital," or the O&M expenses, is no less important. The calculation of military capital stock is based on the equation, St = Et + (1-a)St-1 where S and E represent stock and flow respectively and a designates the depreciation ratio.

The South/North ratio of military capital stock in columns V and VI show the dramatic ups and downs of the inter-Korean arms race. The ROK's superiority in the early 1960s was eroded by a rapid catch-up by the DPRK. The North achieved superiority in the late 1960s and maintained this edge until the early 1980s. North Korea's military superiority in the 1970s may not have been enough to commit a major military initiative, however. The South began to outspend the North in 1976, owing to its First Force Improvement Plan (FIP I: 1974-1981). It regained the lead in the late 1980s. In the late 1990s, the ROK's superiority has been more than two to one. Due to the decline or halt of Soviet and Chinese aid and the North Korean economic crisis, it "seems likely that the conventional military capabilities of North Korea have been degraded over the past few years."30

To summarize the findings, the ROK was superior to the DPRK until the mid-1960s, lost the edge in the following ten to fifteen years, but regained it and has expanded the gap since the early 1980s. U.S. intelligence reports showed a rough inter-Korean military parity even in 1970. 31 The ROK could have achieved much better ratios in bean counts or firepower scores if it had chosen less expensive weapon systems. The apparent aggressive posture of the KPA can be interpreted as an "offensive defense" strategy. Some U.S. intelligence estimates in the 1990s concluded that "South Korea has the edge, especially in the air, and could repulse a North Korean attack even without throwing U.S. forces in the balance."32

North Korean Threat Perceptions and Asymmetric Capabilities

The two Koreas have been engaged in a prolonged arms race. There have been periods of simultaneous buildups, diachronic seesaw games, maintenance of the status quo, and one-sided races. The North has tried since the late 1970s to maintain a balance by its own means. It adopted a labor-intensive buildup in the 1980s. Faced with ROK-U.S. conventional-force superiority in the 1990s, the North moved to an asymmetric force approach that includes WMD and missiles.33 The one-sided South Korean conventional arms buildup, especially in the 1990s, may have been an effort to offset what Seoul perceived to be a major force imbalance. However, it is widely admitted in official ROK and U.S. documents that the South is qualitatively superior, especially after the naval clash at sea near Yonpyong in June 1999, which incurred one-sidedly heavy casualties for the North. There has been much talk in South Korea about perceptions of the North Korean threat, but North Korea's threat perceptions should be considered too.

In fact, the drama of North Korea's nuclear weapons pro-gram and Rodong and Daepodong missiles reflect the weakness, not strength, of the self-acclaimed "strong and prosperous power." In the late 1980s, the collapse of the socialist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe reinforced North Korea's already deep-rooted siege mentality. The dramatic economic growth, democratization, and aggressive Nordpolitik of the South further accelerated Pyongyang's fear of being isolated. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the consequent unification of Germany, North Korean media began to criticize the alleged "unification by absorption" policy of the South. The Gulf War demonstrated many weaknesses in Soviet-type weapon systems, while South Korea continued to build up its capabilities with more sophisticated equipment.

To make matters worse, Moscow and Beijing established diplomatic relations with the ROK without "cross-recognition" of the DPRK by the United States or Japan. The two former socialist allies cut their already shrinking aid to Pyongyang and demanded hard currency payments in bilateral trade. The ailing North Korean economy, which had shown virtually no growth in the 1980s, was badly hit. Pyongyang officially reported the failure of its Third Seven-Year Plan (1987-1993). Since 1990, its economy is estimated to have had continuously negative growth. Official DPRK government budget and national income (or GDP) in the late 1990s declined to less than one half of what they had been in the early 1990s.34 The North thus had neither internal resources nor foreign aid for its economic recovery. The sudden death of the "Great Leader" in July 1994 further raised the challenge of leadership succession. Political and economic troubles in North Korea reached were so extensive that its government budget, usually announced in April by the Supreme People's Assembly, was not announced at all from 1995 to 1998. In the midst of a crisis that threatened its very survival, North Korean leaders could not attempt serious economic reforms or an open-door policy. The so-called "military first policy" in 1998 that they did announce implies that the authority and role of the civilian sector of the Korean Workers' Party has been consider-ably weakened.

Faced with an unprecedented regime crisis, Pyongyang pur-sued its nuclear option in the 1990s. The nuclear project might have appeared as a dual-edged sword to solve its energy shortage and to gain a great leap forward in the arms race. North Korea has been threatened with U.S. nuclear retaliation since at least 1955, while neither Moscow nor Beijing has officially confirmed a nuclear guarantee for Pyongyang. The North Koreans reportedly approached Moscow about acquiring a nuclear-weapon capability as early as 1963. 35 Once U.S. satellites found that Pyongyang was building a larger reactor, the so-called "radioactive laboratory"(a plutonium reprocessing plant) at Youngbyon, in the late 1980s, the North Korean nuclear program "replaced MIGs, forward deployment, commandos, tunnels, dams, and the million-man army as the number one concern?of Seoul and Washington.36 The Young-byon plant, if completed, could reprocess enough plutonium (from the spent fuel of the larger reactor) to fabricate several bombs a year. Pyongyang later confirmed to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it had reprocessed a "test" quantity of plutonium from the spent fuel of its small, gas-cooled graphite reactor. Although Pyongyang may not have pursued the nuclear program as a "bargaining chip," it soon realized that a policy of "neither confirm nor deny" was its last trump card. The North Korean nuclear diplomacy or brinkmanship finally produced the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework in 1994.

During the nuclear crisis, the two Koreas and the United States made threats and counter-threats. In April 1991, the ROK Minister of National Defense, Lee Jong-Koo, suggested that an "Entebbe-style" preemptive strike (or an Osirak-style air raid) could be an option for Seoul. President Clinton warned North Koreans that if they ever developed and used nuclear weapons, "it would be the end of their country."37

In the climax of the nuclear crisis in 1994, Washington seriously considered an additional force deployment for a war.38 North Korea also developed and test fired the Rodong I missile, an extended-range version of the Soviet Scud surface-to-surface missiles, through reverse engineering. North Korean missiles were reportedly exported to the Middle East. It is in this period that the ROK-U.S. AirLand Battle scenario, the OPLAN 5027, was disclosed to the public. The plan called not only for counter-attacks but also for the virtual elimination of the North Korean state itself.39 North Koreans responded with a counter-threat: if a war breaks out, "Seoul would become a sea of fire."

North Korea again tested a missile launch in 1998 to bring the United States back to the conference table, this time a multi-stage rocket. By launching the Daepodong missile (or the "Kwangmyong-song artificial satellite", North Korea demonstrated a symbolic threat to Japan and the United States. The Kumchang-ri incident and missile talks indicate North Korean efforts "to achieve limited political and economic objectives"40 as well as military gains. The missiles replaced nuclear weapons as potential sources of diplomatic leverage. The missile launch and Pyongyang's declaration in August 1998 of the ambition to be a "strong and prosperous power" had domestic causes as well: to encourage the depressed people and augment the regime's legitimacy. Kim Jong Il consolidated his leadership as the Chairman of the NDC as well as General Secretary of the Party in the fall of 1998.

Today, there exists an asymmetric balance between the two Koreas in spite of ROK superiority in military capital stock. ROK(-U.S.) superiority in conventional war-fighting capabilities is arrayed against low-cost DPRK deterrents. The North possesses both conventional (long-range artillery including hundreds of 170-mm SP guns and large-caliber multiple rocket launchers) deterrents that can destroy Seoul-in a "sea of fire," as it pro-claimed during the nuclear crisis-as well as non-conventional deterrents (its alleged WMD capability, probably delivered by ballistic missiles). It has become less probable that the North can occupy Seoul in a surprise attack. Yet the fragile, complex, and accident-prone infrastructure of the Seoul metropolitan area, as well as its population of eleven million, could be badly hurt by KPA long-range artillery and rockets.

The Two Koreas and the United States

The ROK-U.S. alliance has been a major factor in the inter-Korean military balance and arms race. The arms buildup decision of the North in 1962 and its self-reliant defense policy were efforts to compensate for the weakening commitment from Moscow. Likewise, the self-armament decision of the ROK in the 1970s was a response to the weakening U.S. security commitment. For the last half century since the Korean War, the security threat from North Korea has remained the number-one concern in ROK-U.S. cooperation. Even today U.S. strategic deterrence compensates for the inter-Korean asymmetry in strategic deterrence. At the same time, the United States has also played a deterrent role against a possible ROK "March to North" or the nuclearization of either Korean state. Like it or not, the United States is not an outsider in the Korean peace process. The United States is and will be deeply involved in the inter-Korean arms control and disarmament processes in conventional as well as non-conventional terms.

At the dawn of the 21st century, inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation and the changing military balance between the two Koreas in favor of the South have enabled the ROK and the United States to explore new possibilities for security on the Korean peninsula. Owing to its economic and political development, Seoul has also acquired "reasonably sufficient" capabilities for defense and some level of deterrence. Based on its confidence in the military balance and the stability of the regime, the Kim Dae Jung government has implemented the aggressive Sunshine policy, which finally brought about inter-Korean reconciliation. In parallel with the inter-Korean reconciliation, a breakthrough in U.S.-DPRK relations would lead to the establishment of a diplomatic relationship and a peace treaty to replace the armistice. Although we have yet to witness tangible military CBMs on the Korean peninsula, the ROK-U.S. allies should seriously take arms control and disarmament into consideration in their future policy planning.

Furthermore, the geopolitics in East Asia is such that Korea in the future should actively pursue arms control and disarmament in the region. Korea, unified or not, should not commit to an arms race with any neighboring power. Located on a peninsula, South Korea has difficulty choosing whether to be a continental or a maritime power. Korea is unable to possess capabilities strong enough to match either the Chinese ground forces or the Japanese navy. Even an optimistic forecast shows that Korea cannot match China or Japan in overall national power or military capabilities.41 An arms race against a more powerful neighbor would be self-defeating. Nor can South Korea play the role of balancer in the East Asian balance of power game. The alliance with Washington is likely to remain central to the security of Korea in the near future, albeit with a reduced level of U.S. forces.

Under these circumstances, the most important issues in future security cooperation between Seoul and Washington include close coordination of policies toward North Korea and a more flexible, equal relationship in the alliance structure. The two are closely related. The Sunshine policy was strongly supported by the "Perry process" of the Clinton administration. The summit was made possible with the help of the United States: Washington signaled Pyongyang in March 2000 that it was ready to declare an end to enmity and set a date for issuing new trade regulations. However, the Clinton administration nearly stumbled into a war with North Korea in 1994. The lack of ROK-US coordination during the nuclear crisis was partly due to the different priorities of the two governments. South Korea was desperate to avoid an unintended war, while nuclear non-proliferation may have been a more important concern to Washing-ton

With the advent of the Bush administration, the Kim Dae Jung government will be faced with a major challenge in coordinating policy with the Republicans, who give top priority to the NMD program. The Bush administration does not attach high priority to reconciliation with North Korea. It is also probable that Washington will manipulate a certain level of tension with Pyongyang to promote the NMD campaign. Conservatives in Washington and Seoul now have the opportunity to strike back with a vengeance. As popular support of the Kim government, already divided along regional lines, has weakened, his administration will be forced to make some readjustments to its Sunshine policy. It is high time to take a closer look at the ROK-U.S alliance structure and the prospects for security and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

For a long time, Washington played the leading, if not dominant, role in deterring North Korean aggression. In the 1950s and 1960s, there was a military division of labor between American capital and Korean labor, with the United States providing military aid. The security relationship between the two allies has been transformed from a patron-client relationship to a more or less equal partnership, due to democratization and economic development in the South.42 The new form of division of labor is American strategy and Korean tactics. The United States exercises strategic planning as well as strategic deterrence, while the ROK wants more autonomy or equality. For instance, South Korea has long wanted to extend the range of its ballistic missiles from the 180-kilometer limit imposed by the United States in 1979. The extension, reflecting South Korea's burning desire for "strategic" weapons, would be either to a 300-kilometer limit allowed by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), or to a 500-kilometer limit technically required to counter a KPA missile attack. To the Americans the planned ROK early warning, intelligence, C 4 I, and naval capabilities would be redundant and unnecessary under the existing alliance system unless South Korea were to enter into war against Japan.43

While South Korea has been demanding an extension of its ballistic missile range in the 밪outh?Korean missile talks, it has been reluctant to participate in the U.S. NMD or the U.S.-Japanese TMD (theater missile defense) projects. The main reason is not the fear of a Chinese protest of South Korean participation in a missile defense project. It is the perception that ballistic missile defense would not provide additional protection from the KPA's long-range artillery, which has remained the primary threat to Seoul. As for China, South Koreans want to avoid the nightmare of being dragged into a Sino-American confrontation in which it has to choose between the hegemon (United States) and the challenger (China). It is most likely that the U.S. "hegemonic" presence in East Asia, in the Gramscian as well as the conventional sense of the term, will continue as long as it is tolerated by China. However, the ROK has the legitimate right to co-deter-mine the future of the alliance.

The alliance is also a division of labor between American software and Korean hardware. The USFK's firepower is still highly valuable in deterring a KPA attack,44 but it is the information capability, including C 4 I, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, in which the U.S. excels. Likewise, the ROK procurement plans include C 4 I systems, early warning systems (such as AWACS), and intelligence gear, including the so-called Paekdoo and Kumkang projects in addition to the MLRS/ATACMS, new attack helicopters, the Future Fighter (FX), aerial refueling tankers, new generation surface-to-air missiles, destroyers with improved anti-air capability (including an Aegis class KDX-III), KSS-II submarines with air-independent propulsion plants.45 Regardless of how impressive the purchasing list may be, these weapon systems would still be only hardware unless the ROK armed forces and defense industries internalize the information technology, managerial skills and know-how, and strategic planning involved in their use.

More important, the problem is that these major procurement programs do not provide South Korea with more security. The security dilemma for the two Koreas is that Seoul cannot buy more security through an arms race, since the North would respond to the South with much cheaper WMD. As long as the new weapons procurement cycle of the South is perceived as a threat to Pyongyang, it will trigger further low-cost, asymmetric buildups by the North. The two Koreas possess such military strengths (and vulnerabilities) that "mutually assured destruction," with or without nuclear weapons, is highly probable. It is not a matter of who will win in the end; both will lose. Furthermore, the Kumchang-ri incident and missile talks demonstrate that Pyongyang has exploited issues of arms control and disarmament for political and economic as well as military gains. The security dilemma and the vicious cycle of the arms race need political solutions, for they cannot be easily solved by military means of the ROK-U.S. alliance.

South Korea and the United States should seek joint, cooperative security with North Korea, since the security of the South is no longer attainable to the detriment of the security of the North, and vice versa. The cooperative security approach should be accompanied by multilateral efforts to bring North Korea into Northeast Asian regional cooperation as a responsible member.


The inter-Korean summit talks and the Joint Declaration laid historic groundwork for a new era of peace on the Korean peninsula. But they are just a first step in a long journey toward security and peace. A more challenging agenda of institutionalization of the peace process lies ahead. The institutionalization of the Korean peace process includes a peace treaty, cross-recognition of the two Koreas by the four major powers, regional cooperation, arms control, and disarmament. Arms control and disarmament on the Korean peninsula are closely related to the peace treaty issue. For instance, peace treaty and arms control negotiations would inevitably affect the status of the U.S. troops in Korea. Arms control and disarmament issues are also closely related with the process of normalization of relations with the United States and Japan.

In addition to future ROK-U.S. cooperation, arms control, disarmament, and peace on the Korean peninsula will depend heavily on a military balance and perception of the balance by the two Koreas. A closer look at the arms race and military balance reveals that, contrary to official claims, the South has been superior in conventional military capabilities since the early 1980s. There exists an asymmetric balance between the ROK(-U. S.) superiority in war-fighting capabilities and low-cost DPRK deterrents. The United States, not an outsider to the Korean peace process, provides the South with strategic deterrence. An arms buildup by the South beyond "reasonable sufficiency" would be matched by low-cost asymmetric buildups by the North.

Security for South Korea is no longer attainable to the detriment of the security of North Korea, and vice versa. The security policies of the two Koreas should be oriented toward arms control and disarmament on the peninsula and in East Asia. Since a stable and prospering economy is the basis of national security, the two Koreas should further develop economic cooperation with their neighbors. Multilateral efforts to bring North Korea into Northeast Asian regional cooperation are required.

Finally, unified or not, Korea will need to maintain a strong alliance with Washington. South Korea and the United States, seeking cooperative security with the North, should develop a more equal partnership in every aspect of the alliance. For the time being South Korea will need the North's cooperation, including Kim Jong Il's return visit to the South, talks between defense ministers on the railroad project and military CBMs, and other cooperative measures and exchanges.


1. Keith Krause and Michael C. Williams, eds., Critical Security Studies (Minneapolis, Minn.: Minnesota University Press, 1997).

2. Barry Buzan, People, States and Fear (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983), pp. 96-107.

3. Joseph S. Nye, "South-North Reconciliation and 21st Century N.E.

Asian International Strategic Relations,"Korea Observer, vol. 31, No. 4 (Winter, 2000), p. 634.

4. ROK Ministry of National Defense, Defense White Paper 2000, p. 53.

5. U.S. Department of Defense, "2000 Report to Congress on the Military Situation on the Korean Peninsula,"September 12, 2000, online at

6. ROK Ministry of Unification, "Korean Unification Bulletin: Inter-Kore-an Summit Talks," February 1, 2001, online at

7. Stanley Roth, "Implications of the Inter-Korean Summit, for Northeast Asian Security," paper presented at the Conference on Peace and Democracy in the Korean Peninsula by the Kim Dae Jung Peace Foun-dation, Seoul, February 22, 2001, p. 62

8. Rodong Shinmun (Workers Daily, Pyongyang), January 1 and 4, 2001; Vantage Point, vol. 24, No. 2 (February, 2001).

9. B. C. Koh, "the Sunshine Policy, the Inter-Korean Summit, and Dismantling the Cold War Structure," paper presented at the Conference on the Korean Summit and the Dismantling the Cold War Structure, Seoul, August 24-25, 2000, pp. 11-12.

10. ROK Ministry of Unification, February 27, 2001.

11. Chung-In Moon, "The Sunshine Policy and the Korean Summit: Assessment and Prospects," East Asian Review, vol.12, No.4 (Winter, 2000), p. 31.

12. Yunling Zhang, "Peace in the Korean Peninsula and Role of China," paper presented at the Conference on Peace and Democracy in the Korean Peninsula by the Kim Dae Jung Peace Foundation, Seoul, February 22, 2001, p. 78.

13. Defense White Paper 2000; U.S. Department of Defense, "2000 Report to Congress." 14. U.S. Department of Defense, "2000 Report to Congress," p. 5.

15. Taik-young Hamm, Arming the Two Koreas: State, Capital and Military Power (New York: Routledge, 1999), p. 39.

16. See Defense White Paper, annual editions since 1988.

17. Gen. Tilelli, CINCUNC, quoted in Don Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1997), p. 397.

18. Quoted from John J. Mearscheimer, "Correspondence: Reassessing Net Assessment," International Security, vol. 13, No. 4 (1989), p. 128.

19. Young-Hee Lee, "A Comparative Study on War-Fighting Capabilities of North and South Korea," Society and Thought [in Korean], vol. 1 (1988), pp. 140-66.

20. The sum total WEI/WUV scores of a given unit, compared against those of the 1976 standard U.S. armored division (1.0 ADE), provides its ADE index. William P. Mako, U.S. Ground Forces and the Defense of Central Europe (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1983), pp. 105-25.

21. Guy R. Arrigoni, "National Security," in Andreas Matles Savada, ed., North Korea: A Country Study, 4th ed. (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1994), p. 222.

22. "Most [KPA] naval vessels are small patrol sized craft unable to operate over 50 nautical miles from the coast." U.S. DIA, North Korea: The Foundations for Military Strength (Washington, D.C.: Defense Intelligence Agency, 1991), p. 44. The ROK is superior in total tonnage (141,000 tons vs. 105,000 tons). Japan Defense Agency, 1999 Defense of Japan, p. 25.

23. Trevor N. Dupuy, Numbers, Predictions and War (London: Macdonald & Jane's, 1979), pp. 95-139; Allan R. Millett, Williamson Murray, and Ken-neth H. Watman, Military Effectiveness, Volume I: The First World War (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1988), pp.1-30.

24. Stuart E. Johnson and Joseph A. Yager, The Military Equation in North-east Asia (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1978), p. 57; U.S.

CBO, Force Planning and Budgetary Implications of U.S. Withdrawal from Korea (Washington, D.C.: CBO, 1978).

25. Defense White Paper 2000; Charles Wolf, Jr. et al., The Changing Balance: South and North Korean Capabilities for Long-Term Military Competition (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND, 1985); Sang-Woo Rhee, The Security Environment of Korea, vol. 2 (in Korean; Seoul: Sogang University Press, 1986), p. 734.

26. Defense White Paper 1989, p. 167; Defense White Paper 1992-1993, p. 140; Myung-Kil Kang, "Defense Spending of Korea," in Jong-Chun Baek and Min-Yong Lee, eds., Korean National Defense Today (in Korean; Seoul: Ministry of National Defense, 1994), p. 265.

27. U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (Washington, D.C.: ACDA, various years); U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, Military Assistance and Foreign Military Sales Facts (Washington, D.C.: DSAA, various years).

28. Defense White Paper 1991-1992, p. 136.

29. For further detail, see Hamm, Arming the Two Koreas, ch. 5.

30. Stockholm International Peace Research Institutet, SIPRI Yearbook 1996: World Armament and Disarmament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 468.

31. U.S. Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Troop Withdrawal from the Republic of Korea, Report by H. Humphrey and J. Glenn (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1978), p. 27.

32. Leon V. Sigal, Disarming Strangers: Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), p. 20.

33. Bruce Bennett, "Implications of Proliferation of New Weapons on Regional Security," in Tae-Hwan Kwak, ed., The Search for Peace and Security in Northeast Asia toward the 21th Century (Seoul: IFES, Kyungnam University, 1997), pp. 171-204.

34. Taik-young Hamm, "Regime Characteristics and State Capacity of North Korea under Kim Jong Il," in Hamm et al., Capacity and Strategies of Survival of the Kim Jong Il Regime (in Korean; Seoul: IFES, Kyungnam University, 2000), pp.27-69.

35. Selig S. Harrison, "Breaking the Nuclear Impasse: The United States and North Korea," in U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Hearings (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1993), appendix, pp. 31, 49.

36. Stephen D. Goose, "The Comparative Military Capabilities of North Korean and South Korean Forces," in Doug Bandow and Ted Nolan Carpenter, eds., The U.S.-South Korean Alliance: Time for a Change (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1992), p. 55.

37. Korea Times (Seoul), July 13, 1993.

38. Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas, pp.324-25.

39. Dong-A Ilbo (Seoul), February 7, 1994; March 25, 1994.

40. David W. Shin, "Bolder U.S. Policy Options Toward North Korea and Their Implications in Northeast Asia," Korea and World Affairs, vol. 24, No.1 (Spring, 2000), p. 56.

41. Charles Wolf et al., Long-Term Economic and Military Trends 1994-2015: The United States and East Asia (Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corp., 1995).

42. Scott Snyder, "New Challenges for U.S.-ROK Relations," Korea and World Affairs, vol. 24, No.1 (Spring, 2000), pp. 31-32.

43. Armed Forces Journal International, October 1998, p.14.

44. The USFK includes the 2nd division with two infantry brigades and its organic artillery, supported by multiple rocket launchers (MRLS), two squadrons of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and a Patriot SAM battalion, and the 7th Air Force comprised of 24 F-16/LANTIRN, 22 A-10s, 42 F-16Cs, and U-2s deployed in Osan and Kunsan air bases. U.S. DOD, "2000 Report to Congress,"p. 3.

45. Dong-A Ilbo, October 3, 2000; "The Republic of Korea's Armed Forces at 50," Asian Defense Journal, October 1998, pp. 6-17.

Table 1. ROK- DPRK Military Capital


(I) a (II) (III) (IV) b

Expenditures Investment Investment Investment Total

Military Aid Excluded Excluded Excluded Included

Depreciation No No Yes Yes

(per annum) — — 8% 10%

1960 — 46.7 — 133.3

1965 — 11.5 — 129.7

1970 — 7.3 13 101.2

1973 — (50.8) — 13 90.6

1975 3.3 13.6 13 82.2

1976 10.4 19.9 18 85.0

1978 — 34.4 37 94.8

1980 35.8 47.4 58 100.4

1981 — (54.2) 54.3 68 104.5

1983 — 68.0 94 110.9

1984 49.8 74.2 — 113.1

1986 — (60.4) — — 115.2

1988 67.2 (65) — — 123.5

1989 71 — — 131.2

1991 80 — — 144.2

1992 82.4 (71) — — 149.6

1994 82.9 — — 161.8

1996 91.9 — — 180.2

1997 — (75) — — —
Hamm Taik-young
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